Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Characterized by erratic changeableness or instability, especially with regard to affections or attachments; capricious.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To deceive; flatter.
  • To puzzle; perplex; nonplus.
  • Disposed or acting so as to deceive; deceitful; treacherous; false in intent.
  • Inconstant; unstable; likely to change from caprice, irresolution, or instability: rarely applied to things except in poetry or by personification.
  • Perilous; ticklish.
  • Synonyms Variable, mutable, changeable, unsteady, unsettled, vacillating, fitful, volatile.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not fixed or firm; liable to change; unstable; of a changeable mind; not firm in opinion or purpose; inconstant; capricious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Quick to change one’s opinion or allegiance; insincere; not loyal or reliable.
  • verb transitive To deceive; flatter.
  • verb transitive To puzzle; perplex; nonplus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective liable to sudden unpredictable change
  • adjective marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English fikel, from Old English ficol, deceitful.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English fikil, fikil, from Old English ficol ("fickle, cunning, tricky , deceitful"), equivalent to fike +‎ -le. More at fike.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English fikelen, from fikel ("fickle"); see above. Cognate with Low German fikkelen ("to deceive, flatter"), German ficklen, ficheln ("to deceive, flatter").

Examples

Comments

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  • As in the Fickle Finger of Fate.

    January 22, 2007

  • The pronunciator (aka Mike) is very fickle.

    January 22, 2010